The Cosby Show, what has long been considered the greatest black sitcom of all time, celebrates its 30th anniversary in two weeks. That the show’s legendary run is marked by a return to a more diverse television landscape this fall seems fitting: NBC, ABC, and FOX, along with other networks, will debut a variety of shows that cast minority actors in lead roles (several are women of color). This push for more nuanced programming brings to mind the 1990s, a decade known for its rich portrayal of black life through shows like Living Single and Roc. Here, a completely indisputable ranking of black sitcoms that aired between 1990 and 1999.
Karyn Parsons, who is most known for her portrayal of Hilary Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, is seeking your support to help to raise money to create a 20-minute animated documentary about Janet Collins, the first black prima ballerina and soloist to perform at the Met Opera. Collins overcame a great deal of obstacles even declining to join Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo at the age of 15 when she was asked to perform only under the condition that she had to be in whiteface.
This upcoming Chris Rock-narrated short will be another addition to Parson’s organization Sweet Blackberry, whose mission is to educate kids on the achievements of Black Americans with inspiring true stories.
Previous award-winning films by Sweet Blackberry (Parent’s Choice Award, Learning Magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Awards) were narrated by noted actors Alfre Woodard and Queen Latifah and featured on HBO and HBO Family and distributed to libraries and schools all over the world.
Click here to watch Parson’s proposal, donate to The Janet Collins Story, and receive some cool rewards in return.